When I go nettle-picking, I usually wear the same thin-ish full-fingered gloves I’ve been biking in most of the winter. Nettle stingers aren’t that long, so as long as I’m reasonably careful about grabbing from the undersides of the leaves, I don’t get stung. Much.
Figure 2: The author’s nettle-welted finger, the day after picking.
Okay, my fingers were tingling all day on Monday. It was a little uncomfortable. But it was totally worth it to avoid the clunkiness of trying to pick with thicker gloves, and to get the nettles.
I made a batch of soup (my nettle soup recipe: caramelize a couple of onions and a fennel bulb, deglaze with the pan with akvavit, then add stock, nettles, and buttermilk) and a nettle quiche for a celebratory spring dinner. I dried one dehydrator-load in order to make a batch of nettle-yogurt dip for a couple of upcoming potlucks (recipe for nettle dip: greek yogurt, sour cream, cream cheese, MSG-laden onion soup powder, powdered dried nettles). I’ve got nettle tea to tame my hair’s flyaway wisps. There’s still some left for pesto, but it’s not going to be enough.
It’s time to find new foraging grounds.